The Do’s and Don’ts of Your Exercise Routine
by Briana Delbuono
It is no longer safe to jog outside without taking some precautionary measures first. After all, being prepared for danger can only aid you in a bad situation. Here are some things that you can do to avoid and or protect yourself in a life-threatening scenario.
Before even leaving your house – TELL SOMEONE WHERE YOU ARE GOING!!!! I cannot stress this enough.
Take your phone with you so that you can call for help if necessary.
If you have an iPhone you can share your location with a close friend or loved one. This way, even if you aren’t responding to texts or calls, someone will always know where you are.
Wear a Booby Trap Bra! These inventive little sports bras have a pocket sewn in the front in order to hold a small knife or pepper spray. They are pricey, averaging $54.99 per bra, but not as pricey as your life.
NEVER run in secluded areas. Whether it is day or night or you are with a friend, this is a major DON’T.
Try to avoid running alone. Your parents weren’t wrong when they told you there is safety in numbers. Don’t get me wrong, bad situations have also occurred to groups but the majority of attackers go after prey that is vulnerable, and you are most vulnerable by yourself.
If you must run alone, do it in the daytime where there are lots of people around. Run on side streets and major roads if possible.
Always run on the left side of the street facing the cars coming towards you. Runners do this so that they know if a car is about to swerve into them or lose control. If your back is turned towards the car, how will you know what to do?
Wear reflective clothing if you must run at night! (Although, this is definitely not recommended).
Leave your headphones at home! Running along to a soundtrack might be nice, but you cannot hear cars or potential attackers while your hearing is impaired, even if the music is low.
It may sound cliché, but look all ways before crossing the street. Even if it’s a red light, drivers could be distracted and not notice you in the street. Pay attention to cars and the drivers inside of them.
If a car is following you while you are running, cross the street and go in the opposite direction of the car – it will take a while for them to turn around. Don’t feel awkward. If you are uncomfortable, do what feels right.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Don’t have your head down looking at your phone. And always make eye contact so that you can identify your attacker if circumstances call for it.
NEVER take the same exact route. Jogging is one of the only things in life that you should never adapt a routine for. This makes it extremely easy for attackers or stalkers to know where you’ll be and when, which is a HUGE danger for you.
Always carry water and your ID! You do not want to dehydrate, and if you pass out, you want people to know your name and address.
Run on roads you know. Do not attempt to go where you could potentially become lost. This puts you in a bad situation even if you are not in immediate danger.
If you are in a situation where an attacker is involved, defend yourself by targeting their head, knees, or groin, if possible. Those are the weakest parts of the body.
Use your elbows, knees, and head to hit an attacker. These body parts will sting them the most because of how bony they are.
Carrying your keys in between your fingers is helpful when you need something to fend off an attacker. You can also use your phone or your water bottle. ANYTHING. If you distract them long enough, you can easily get away. Don’t worry about your iPhone. It’s not as important as your life.
If you are in a situation where you are pinned down – do not struggle to get away. Once the attacker thinks that you have given up, they will loosen their grip on you.
If you follow all of these steps, you should be on your way to a secure jogging experience. The world is not as safe as we wish it could be and the more aware and alert you are, the better you will be at handling any situation.